It’s been a long time coming, writing this post at least. I know that writing this will probably take you deep into the inner workings of myself, but after careful consideration I feel that this could potentially help others.
Thats why the most of us our here; to give travel advice, tips, how to’s; well how helpful to you am I being if I don’t tell the truth and induldge a bit about myself. To some of you I am simply the Fashionista who travels on occasion. I offer out style tips, travel advice, and anything if it comes in “pink”. But if we are being honest here and I think we are, well thats not all there is to me.
Some of you know that I am in a long term relationship with a fellow travel blogger, we have been together for a little over 3 years. He travels full time, at least twice a month, usually.
When I first met him on that faithful day in July 2008 I wasn’t looking for “love” it just sorta happend and it happened fast. Quickly we both realized that this was “it” there was no more looking and we had finally found the “one”. Well after realizing that travel and writing about travel was his biggest passion, I jumped on board the support train. I loved that he had so much passion, it drove me to have more ambition and try more things.
However I quickly realized that all this traveling he was going to be doing in the near future or doing at the moment irked me a bit. Its not that I was jealous or upset but it was something else, something I couldn’t put my finger on. I mean I have always had a touch of anxiety, I was the perfectionist in school, never getting less then a B, I’m always on time and I LOVE to plan. But I figured those were GOOD things, boy was I on cloud nine.
So let me bring you back a bit, back to the first few times he traveled while we were together. Depressed isn’t even the word I could use to describe how I felt. I would spend hours looking at articles on “how to deal with long distance relationships.” I felt so bad that I even found myself reaching out to fellow girls on twitter asking how they deal when a loved one is far away, I ended up getting a great support group of two girls who I miss dearly.
This helped for awhile, having other girls to talk to who were in similar situations was great, but it was simply a bandaid, it covered up how I was feeling and helped me justify how I was feeling. It wasn’t enough though. It helped for a few months but as soon as another trip was coming up I would soon feel anxious and worried about him traveling, and we would often end up “talking” OK, practically fighting about my axixety a little too often. So here’s what I did, I realized my “faults” and realized that this anxiety was now taking over my relationship, so I did the best thing I knew, I called a therapist.
I met with her about two weeks before Christmas in 2010. Immediatly she dove into my past and pulled out all the things that I had kept hidden, things that had nothing to do with my current relationship. We examied my family, past relationships, and why I felt the things I felt. We discovered I have abandonment issues. A father that passed away at an early age and a mother who keeps me at arms length, no wonder I was broken.
**Let me also mention that I tell my significant other about each and every session, it makes us stronger and he likes knowing how I’m feeling, I highly recommend that
Then came the hard part, trying to fix me. Yes I was broken and in desperate need of fixing. It took going to therapy once a week for almost a year to finally get me “squared away”. I am by no means “cured” but I am now getting over my anxiety when my significant other travels. I am OK with being alone, I have found new and exciting hobbies (like running two websites) oh yea and I’m addicted to Pilates and Yoga.
After a recent visit to my therapist I discovered that I’m actually doing really well. I’m ok when he travels, I’m ok being a alone and it has literally done wonders for our relationship. Sometimes talking to friends who are in similar situations isn’t enough, for me I needed that outside person who wasn’t close to the situation. I can safely tell you now that I only need to see my therapist about once every 3-4 weeks and sometimes when I go I don’t even have much to say, its a GREAT feeling.
So I’m not telling everyone with relationship strain to get yourself into therapy but I can tell you how much of a difference it made to me. Us travel bloggers are in a unique field, we don’t have the typical 9-5 jobs (OK maybe I do since full time I am a Teacher) but lets face it at least one of us in these relationships is traveling close to full time and its hard to deal.
What I have learned from all of this is that its OK to feel this way, its OK to miss the other person or to feel lonely and sad sometimes. Its what we do with it that will effect us in the long run. Going to therapy saved my relationship and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy: Where Acceptance is Key… (psychcentral.com)
- Who Are The “Keepers?” – The Traits of Successful Long-Term Relationship Partners (psychologytoday.com)